Who doesn’t love peanut butter? You can have it in your breakfast or your snack. Peanut butter and jelly sandwich, peanut butter cookie, or peanut butter flavored cupcake! We can never have too much peanut butter! And now I wonder, can I say the same for my clever pal Bright who sneaks in the kitchen for it? So, can dogs eat peanut butter? Read on.
Some peanut butter brands contain xylitol and this is extremely toxic for dogs. However, you can give xylitol-free peanut butter to your dog as a treat. It can be quite difficult to figure out the Dos and Don’ts of feeding our furry friends, but fear not and read on because I will try to help you with all the peanut butter-related stuff!
Can Dogs Have Peanut butter?
Yes, dogs can have peanut butter as a rightful treat, as long as it’s free from xylitol ingredients. Xylitol is a food additive that provides health benefits to humans. But to dogs, xylitol is a legitimately poisonous chemical. It quickens the release of insulin from your dog’s pancreas, followed by a drop in blood sugar levels, which leads to hypoglycemia.
Once a dog intakes peanut butter with xylitol content, it will only take 10-60 minutes to take effect. Low doses can cause hypoglycemia, which is life-threatening when not treated, while larger doses have severe effects such as liver failure
To avoid the risk of xylitol, why not practice how to make homemade peanut butter? Indeed, many pet owners prefer homemade ones. At least, they can be sure their dogs won’t consume any unwanted ingredients.
Benefits of Giving Your Dog Peanut Butter as a Treat
Peanut butter is low in methionine and contains a high amount of protein, fiber, healthy fats, and vitamins like niacin (Vitamin B3).
A point for peanut butter for being low in methionine! Why is that? Methionine, although generally safe for dogs, can lead to methionine poisoning in huge amounts. Your dog may experience a lack of appetite, having an upset stomach, and vomiting or diarrhea.
While a dog’s body makes protein naturally, it is good to include it in their diet. Protein plays a role in muscle and tissue building and repairing. It also aids in our fur friend’s hair growth.
However, it is important to note that the amount of protein our fur babies need can already be found in dog food, and so peanut butter can just be a special protein-rich treat for our dogs. [Source]
Fiber is extremely good for your dog’s tummy and helps maintain your dog’s healthy digestive tract. Like fiber, niacin plays a role in maintaining your dog’s healthy digestive tract.
It helps in producing stomach acids and bile which are important in fighting dangerous bacteria. Last but not the least, healthy fats aid in keeping your dog’s skin healthy!
What Is Xylitol in Some Peanut Butter?
Xylitol is classified as all-natural sugar alcohol found in many fruits and vegetables. It is widely used as a substitute for sugar as it tastes and looks the same, but does not raise blood sugar levels! [Source]
Why Is Xylitol Bad for My Dog?
While it is beneficial for humans, even small amounts of xylitol may cause hypoglycemia in dogs. In fact, for dogs, it is considered to be more toxic than chocolate.
Upon intake, xylitol is immediately absorbed in our fur babies’ bloodstream, triggering the strong and rapid release of insulin. This results in hypoglycemia or the intense drop of the dog’s blood sugar level, which can be fatal. [Source]
Xylitol can also cause liver failure or liver disease, though how this happens is still quite a mystery.
Possible Symptoms That My Dog Has Xylitol Poisoning
It is truly scary just thinking about xylitol poisoning happening to our dogs, and so knowing its signs and being alert about these are tremendously helpful.
Xylitol poisoning initially causes hypoglycemia and the symptoms are unusual weakness or sluggishness, vomiting, and difficulty in walking and standing. It is important to note that these symptoms may also mean other things or conditions, and so it is critical to consult your fur baby’s veterinarian.
Dogs may also show more severe symptoms of hypoglycemia like seizures, tremors, or even comatose. If this happens (I hope not!), immediately take your dog to the veterinarian!
What Peanut Butter Brands Contain Xylitol?
To avoid feeding (or accidentally feeding) your dog peanut butter containing xylitol, it is a good thing to always carefully and critically check the ingredients and labels at the back of every peanut butter tub you are buying.
However, to make it easier for you, I have a list of peanut butter brands that you should not give your dog. These are:
- Go Nuts, Co.
- Krush Nutrition
- Nuts ‘N More
What Peanut Butter Brands Are Safe for My Dog?
If your dog loves peanut butter so much, do not worry because peanut butter for dogs is a good thing! Just make sure that the peanut butter you are giving is xylitol-free and is dog-friendly.
Here is a list of dog-friendly peanut butter you can buy as a treat for your sweet pals:
- KONG Real Peanut Butter Tube
- Green Coast Pet Pawnut Butter
- Crazy Richard’s All Natural Creamy Peanut Butter
- Hyper Pet IQ Peanut Butter
- CB’s Nuts Organic Peanut Butter
- Poochie Peanut Butter
Tip: You can make homemade peanut butter if you have time!
How Much Xylitol-Free Peanut Butter Can I Feed My Dog?
Peanut butter should only be considered a treat. It should be given in moderation. It is advisable to follow the 10% rule, which is saying that treats should only be 10% of a dog’s total calorie intake per day.
If your dog needs to eat 500 calories per day, 50 calories only is for treats (like peanut butter). The 450 calories should come from their healthy and balanced everyday food.
What May Happen if I Give My Dog Too Much Peanut Butter?
Even peanut butter without xylitol, when taken in large amounts, can compromise dogs’ health.
Too much peanut butter may result in pancreatitis. If your dog is already suffering from chronic pancreatitis, do not give your furry friend peanut butter. Hide it from them as much as possible. [Source]
Aside from pancreatitis, giving too much peanut butter to our dogs may lead to obesity since it contains fat. If your dog is overweight, avoid giving them peanut butter.
Always remember that too much of anything is as bad as too little!
How Can You Make the Most Out of Peanut Butter?
There are tricks and ways you can use peanut butter in taking care of your dog and I will tell you what these are!
- Peanut butter can be used as a treat when you want to reward your sweet pal for their good behavior or even when you are training them.
- You can use peanut butter to sneak pills!
A lot of fur parents find it effective to wrap and hide medication in peanut butter. Peanut butter smells and tastes amazing and your dog probably will not notice there is a sneaky little pill in it!
- It is great for interactive dog toys!
Your fur baby will surely have fun and be delighted when you put peanut butter treats in their toys. Kong toys are a great example of interactive dog toys you can use with peanut butter. Just stuff it with peanut butter and it is good to go!
How to make peanut butter treats for dogs
You only need 3 ingredients to make a Peanut Butter Cookie treat for your pet.
- 1 ½ cups rolled oats
- 1 large ripe banana
- ½ cup Unsalted and xylitol-free peanut butter
Preheat the oven at 350°F along with a baking sheet and parchment paper.
Meanwhile, blend the rolled oats until they powderize. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, mash the peanut butter and banana altogether. Then, mix the powdered oats (or oat flour) until you make a sticky and firm dough.
You can roll the dough into balls and flatten them to make regular circular cookies. But to add fun, you can also make a 1/4-inch thin dough and form shapes using a cookie cutter.
Bake the dough for 15 minutes. Let it cool and let your lovely canine enjoy some peanut butter treat!